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5 Practical Reasons To Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

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Practical Reasons To Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

The science of yoga benefits every individual, including the mothers to be. This blog is dedicated to the five practical reasons for practicing prenatal yoga.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” — OSHO.

Being a mother is the greatest blessing in a woman’s life. Pregnancy–a beautiful journey towards motherhood is a time of embracing the bodily transformations, changing priorities, and the beginning of a new chapter of life with the little one. It is the perfect journey to embosom self-care, a period of enhanced well-being, and a time to live a healthy lifestyle. And, there can be no better motivator than the life growing within.

An active pregnancy is a way to have a healthy pregnancy.” Get moving, sweat, and glow with the subtle science of yoga. The sheer commitment towards the practice of yoga during the scared nine months is the ideal way to experience optimal physical, mental, energetical, and spiritual health. The much-avowed rewards of yoga such as increased strength, enhanced flexibility, calmer nervous system, better immunity power, etc., are pertinent to the expectant mothers along with numerous other benefits.

The yoga postures varying from standing to twisting help in maintaining the vital signs of mothers-to-be (heart-rate, blood pressure, etc.) normal. Prenatal Yoga extends beyond stretching and relaxing. We have compiled a list of surfacing five practical reasons to practice yoga during pregnancy:

1. Corrects Posture And Core Strength

During pregnancy, the body of a woman undergoes a myriad change on both physical and emotional level. It’s remarkable how a woman body adapts to accommodate a pregnancy. However, some bodily transformation may be unexpected and many women unknowingly change their body posture to compensate, causing an exaggerated S-bend in lower back and rounding of the shoulders.

Prenatal yoga significantly focuses on correct posture, strengthening of the legs, pelvic region, and core to ease the lower back problems and to prevent any complications. A correct posture is vital for the protection of the body and optimal fetal positioning. Simply, it is about getting the baby in the desired position ready for the birth– ideally an ‘anterior position’ with the baby’s spine facing outside of the stomach. Yoga during pregnancy is designed to strengthen the pelvic muscles for carrying the baby, assisting a better positioning of the baby for a smooth and easy labor.

Five best yoga poses for maintaining the good structural integrity and healthy pelvic muscles:

  • Simple Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana): Sit on a support (blanket, pillow) and cross the legs into an Easy Pose (Sukhasana). Inhale to lengthen the spine and exhale to bend forward. Bring the hands on the ground in front of you. Hold the pose for 6-8 breaths.
  • Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Come on your fours with a block between your shins. Curl the toes under, lift the knees off the mat, and raise the hips upward. Come into an inverted ‘V’ position with hands and legs straight. Stay in this pose for 10-15 seconds.
  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana): Stand on a yoga mat with feet 2 inches wider. Place a block between the ankles. Evenly distribute the weight across the feet. Inhale to elongate the spine reaching the crown of the head to the sky. Exhale, raise the arms parallel to the floor. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.
  • Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana): From downward dog, transition into a plank pose with knees on the floor. Keep the back straight and palms on the ground. Look in front of you. Hold this pose for 5-6 breaths.

2. Boosts Confidence And Prepares The Mothers Mentally For Labor

The prenatal yoga technique involves the tools of breathing exercises and postures that prepare the expecting women mentally for the big day. The deep and conscious breathing triggers the relaxation mode helping the pregnant women stay centered and less anxious during the labor. The science of yoga is a process of getting to know the body better and it instills faith in mothers that their body is perfectly designed to bring the baby into this world. Half of the labor is a mental battle. The prenatal yoga offers tools and techniques of keeping the mind and body calm so that they can work in harmony. Key breathing exercises to practice for a healthy gestation period:

  • Ocean Breath or Ujjayi Breathing: Sit in a crossed legged position with hands on your knees. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Keep the mouth closed and make the sound of the ocean.
  • Abdominal Breathing: Comfortably lie on your belly with bent knees. Place one hand on the stomach and other on the chest. Inhale through the nose experiencing your abdomen pushing your hand up. Exhale, feel your stomach deflating.
  • Counting breaths: Counting the breaths help relax the mind and the body. A great exercise during the labor. Sit in a cross-legged position. Take deep breaths and count each breath inhaled and exhaled.
  • Roll Breathing: Lie on your back and perform abdominal breathing. With each inhalation, feel the rise of an abdomen and upon each exhalation, experience falling back of the abdomen. Make a whooshing sound while breathing out.

3. Increases Circulation And Amplifies Energy

One of the many practical reasons to practice yoga during pregnancy is that it increases blood circulation within the body, especially in areas needed the most. An increased volume of blood and fluid in the body is a perfect antidote to the feelings of lethargy. The movement of the body in postures and meditation help with the energy levels and make the expectant women feel good.

4. Strengthens Connection With The Baby

Pregnancy is the time to slow down the busy life and to focus on the Self, both internally and externally. Prenatal yoga gives the mothers-to-be a special time to pay attention inwards, to listen and connect with the baby growing inside. According to health experts, everything a mother feels and thinks is communicated to her unborn child through neurohormones. Therefore, relaxation, positive thinking, and connection nurture a healthier and happier child during pregnancy.

5. For A Healthy Pregnancy

Prenatal yoga is the perfect way to take care of the internal and external well-being. An active yoga practice during the journey of pregnancy and after keeps the mother and baby happy and safe.

Take on the practice of prenatal yoga and safely accomplish the precious journey of being a new mommy.

Author Bio: Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.

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Health

Discover The Main Benefits Of Safflower Oil & Put It To Use

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Safflower oil benefits and uses

If you are used to taking a look at essential oils, then you’re not surprised to hear that CLA safflower oil has a range of benefits. Each of the organic oils that you can buy has plenty of natural benefits. That’s nice to know, but you need the important details. From heart health to managing diabetes and skincare, CLA safflower oil is used for all types of natural remedies and health benefits.

Do you live in the US? The reason I ask is because this flower and its oil is not native to North America. That doesn’t mean that safflower oil isn’t popular in the west. This exotic oil is extremely popular, and you’re about to discover just why that is the case. The following are the main benefits that you can expect when you put safflower oil to use.

First, let’s talk cooking. Have you heard of the spice saffron? it is often used to cook all kinds of delicious dishes. While it’s great to use, it can also be a little expensive. Safflower as a spice can be used as a cheaper replacement. In this case, you would be using the dried plant and not safflower oil. Yet you can also cook with safflower oil.

In fact, cooking with safflower oil is quite popular, too. It is kind of like sunflower oil in a way. Whether you use it as a cooking spice or as a cooking oil, you get all the great benefits. As we continue to look at what those benefits are, keep in mind that safflower oil can be used topically, too.

Are you looking for an essential oil to help keep your hair looking nice and youthful? If you want shiny hair, and you’re trying to find the best organic oil to use, safflower oil could be the one. You can always use more than one oil to treat your hair for different purposes, too. There is olive oil and many more that people use on their hair. Safflower oil keeps your hair looking radiant and beautiful.

According to Peter’s review, safflower oil is for sure known for having essential omega 6 fatty acids. In fact, it’s rich with them, and that’s good for your heart. Keep cholesterol levels down, and know that you’re doing your heart some justice. It’s not just about the consumption of safflower oil but the substitute of this oil for unhealthy oils. That can make quite a big difference.

The same fatty acids can help you manage blood sugar levels. This can help people with diabetes, and it can also help with diabetes prevention. Another benefit of the omega 6 fatty acids is they help your body more easily get rid of fat. This helps people with their weight loss efforts and preventing obesity. That’s not to say that you can simply lose weight by using safflower oil though.

Safflower oil is just a good substitute oil, a healthy oil that has many benefits. Think in terms of using it to cook with as mentioned earlier. Then of course you can use it on your hair, and you can use it on your skin, too. When it comes to the hair and skin, it’s all about the linoleic acid.

It is also suggested that your immune system benefits when you put safflower oil to use. When you look at other essential oils, there are some that are also known as immune system boosters. Speaking of other essential oils, you might want to look into which ones are good for mixing with safflower oil for additional benefits.

One of the things I thought of right away was you might want to look at which essential oils for hair health you could mix with safflower oil. There are also still other benefits to learn about as well. For example, safflower oil can help with arthritis and muscle pain as well as menstrual cramps.

You know more about the main benefits of safflower oil now. It’s time to put it to use, and also make connections to other oils that you are already using or might want to use. It’s great that you can count on these oils having so many natural health benefits that are important.

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Health

How to Support a Loved One Who’s Struggling with Addiction

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It’s impossible to talk about physical and mental health without also addressing the fact that more than 20 million people over the age of 12 are suffering from some kind of addiction.

Addiction is a serious problem throughout the United States — and the rest of the world, for that matter — and the chances are very high that someone you know and love is struggling or will struggle in the future. Because of this, it’s important to know how to provide support and encourage loved ones to get the help they need.

Not sure where to begin?

Listed below are some easy-to-apply steps that will help you show support to a loved one who is struggling with an addiction.

Know the Signs

One of the most important steps you can take is making sure you’re aware of the signs of addiction. It’s not always easy to spot, but if you’re loved one starts exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they could be struggling.

  • Appearing intoxicated more often than usual
  • Developing memory and cognition issues
  • Feeling lethargic or sleeping more often than usual
  • Having trouble at school or work
  • Only attend social events where drugs or alcohol will be available
  • Isolating themselves and skipping activities they used to enjoy
  • Stealing money or other valuables to fund their habit
  • Lying about how much of a particular substance they’re using
  • Getting angry or defensive when questioned about their substance use
  • Neglecting their appearance or personal hygiene

Speak Up Early

When you start noticing signs that could indicate your loved one is struggling with an addiction, be sure to speak up early and express your concern. Don’t wait until they hit rock bottom to offer help.

Letting them know early on that you’re there for them and want to help them could be the push they need to start to turn things around. Addiction is just like any other disease — the sooner it is treated, the better.

Avoid Common Communication Pitfalls

When it comes to addressing your loved one’s behavior and expressing your concern, it’s important to communicate effectively and avoid common pitfalls that can cause them to become angry or defensive.

Remember, they might not realize yet themselves that they have a problem, so it’s important to avoid coming on too strong and making them feel as though they’re being attacked.

Some common mistakes to avoid when talking to your loved one include:

  • Avoid preaching, lecturing, bribing, threatening, or moralizing
  • Don’t be a martyr — this means avoiding emotional appeals that make them feel guilty or ashamed for how they’re affecting you
  • Don’t argue when they’re clearly under the influence — they won’t be in the right state of mind to hear what you have to say

Make Sure You’re Not Enabling Them

It’s very easy to fall into the habit of enabling an addict when you’re trying to help them get better. Be sure to avoid these enabling behaviors:

  • Covering up, lying, or making excuses for them and their behavior
  • Taking over responsibilities to protect them from consequences
  • Giving them money or access to their substance of choice
  • Driving them to meet with a dealer or to purchase their substance of choice so they’re not driving under the influence
  • Spending time with them while they’re using so they’re not alone

You may think you’re doing the right thing by practicing these behaviors, but remember that they don’t actually benefit your loved one — they only make it harder for them to see why their behavior is a problem.

Consult a Professional

Remember, too, that you don’t have to go at this alone. In fact, you probably shouldn’t.

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is incredibly difficult. Working with a professional — someone who has experience working with addicts — will make it easier for you to stop enabling behaviors and make sure your loved one is getting the help they need.

Whether you hold an intervention or simply get advice from a specialist, consulting a professional throughout this process will increase the likelihood that you’ll be successful in helping your loved one overcome their addiction.

A professional can even help you write letters or practice communicating with your loved one in a more effective way.

Be Patient

No matter how hard you work, some people just aren’t ready when you are to give up their addictions.

Remember that you may need to have several conversations before your loved one accepts that they have a problem. Even if they’re not receptive the first time around, be patient and let them know that you love them and are there for them.

At the same time, make sure you’re giving them space to experience consequences. It’s also important for you to have space from your loved one so that you can continue to care for yourself — you can’t help them if you’re neglecting your own needs.

Final Thoughts

Supporting a loved one with an addiction is difficult, but there are ways to effectively communicate and let them know that you want to help them.

Keep these tips in mind as you start navigating the waters of working with a loved one who’s currently struggling and — most importantly — remember that there’s always hope.

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Fitness

Top Five Yoga Poses for People with Lower Back Pain

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At any one time, approximately 31 million Americans are suffering from lower back pain. Lower back pain is also the leading cause of disability for people all over the world.

If you’re currently struggling with lower back pain, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be. But, it’s also important for you to know that there are a variety of treatment options available to help lessen your pain and improve your quality of life.

One of the best — yet often overlooked — treatment options for people with lower back pain is a consistent yoga practice. Yoga comes with a number of physical and mental health benefits that make it a great choice for people who want to relieve their pain.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of yoga for lower back pain, as well as five of the best pain-relieving poses that you can try today.

Benefits of Yoga for Lower Back Pain

Some of the most well-known benefits of yoga for people with lower back pain include:

  • Strengthens muscles in and around the lower back to improve posture and correct imbalances that contribute to pain
  • Stretches the muscles to relieve tension and improve range of motion
  • Promotes relaxation, which further reduces tension and pain
  • Improves body awareness and helps you understand your own body’s current limitations
  • Improves mindset, which can change your perception of and relationship to your pain

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to give yoga a try. Even if you’re skeptical about the practice’s ability to improve your back pain, at the very least, you’ll get to enjoy an hour of relaxation, which is something just about everyone can benefit from!

Best Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain Relief

If you think you can’t practice yoga because you don’t live close to or can’t afford to go to a yoga studio or gym, think again.

Thanks to the internet, there are tons of free resources available that will help you learn the basics and start reaping the benefits of yoga from the comfort of your own home.

Some simple yoga poses you can try today to relieve your lower back pain include:

1. Child’s Pose

This is one of the easiest, yet most beneficial yoga poses you can incorporate into your routine. It provides a nice stretch for the lower back and hips while also helping you relax and enjoy the moment.

To do this pose, start by kneeling on all fours. Bring your feet together so your big toes are touching and open your knees up so they’re a bit wider than hip-distance. Inhale, then exhale and sit your hips back as you stretch forward so that your torso rests in the space between the thighs. Extend your arms in front of you while resting your forehead on your mat.

If your forehead doesn’t touch the ground, you can prop it up on a yoga block, a pillow, a book, or even your stacked fists.

Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths, or longer if you’d like.

Must Read: 5 Practical Reasons To Practice Yoga During Pregnancy

2. Cat-Cow Pose

This is a great stretch that promotes healthy spinal mobility to relieve tension and strengthen the muscles in the back and abdominals.

Start by kneeling on all fours — make sure the wrists, shoulders, knees, and hips are all stacked and in line with one another. Inhale and arch your back, dropping your stomach down toward the ground and lifting your chin and tailbone up toward the ceiling (this is the “cow” part of the pose). Exhale and reverse the pose, pulling your abdominals in and arch your back up, tucking your chin and tailbone in (this is the “cat” part of the pose).

Repeat for at least five rounds (five “cats” and five “cows”), making sure the movement and breath are synced.

3. Downward Facing Dog

In addition to stretching the back, it’s also important to look elsewhere when you’re experiencing lower back pain. Often, people’s backs hurt because their leg muscles are tight — everything in the body is connected, and if one muscle group is tight, it’s probably pulling on other muscles and causing tension throughout the body.

To do this pose, start on all fours. Then, walk your feet back so that you’re in a plank pose with your shoulders right over your wrists. Inhale, then, as you exhale, lift your hips up toward the ceiling until your body forms an upside down “V” shape. Straighten your legs as much as you can and try to bring your heels down to touch the ground. Gaze between your legs or up at your belly button.

Hold for at least five breaths.

4. Standing Forward Fold

There are a number of standing yoga poses that are also great for countering lower back pain, including standing forward fold.

To do this pose, stand up straight at the top of your mat. Your feet can be hip-distance apart, or you can bring them closer so that your big toes are touching. Inhale and raise your arms up above your head, then exhale and hinge at your hips and stretch forward and down toward the ground, keeping your back as straight as possible.

Tuck your chin toward your chest and let the crown of your head reach toward the floor. If you can’t touch the floor, hold onto your shins or ankles instead. You can also bend your knees a bit if this is too intense for your hamstrings.

Hold for at least five breaths.

5. Reclined Pigeon Pose

This is a very calming pose that is often done at the end of a yoga class. It’s great for cooling down the body and quieting the mind. It also provides a great stretch for the outer hip, which, if it’s tight, can contribute to lower back pain.

Start by lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and plant your feet on the ground. Lift your left foot and cross it over your right thigh so it’s resting just above the knee. Reach through the space created by your right left leg and clasp your hands behind your right thigh. Gently pull your right leg in toward your chest, keeping the knee bent.

Hold for at least five breaths, then switch sides.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve never tried yoga as a way to relieve your back pain, consider testing out these five poses today. Your body — and your mind — will thank you!

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